Information Bulletin of the Union of National Economic Associations in Japan No. 5 (1985) pp. 35-36.
(Izumi HISHIYAMA: Scanned and corrected by Aiko Ikeo in 1997)
The 48th national convention of the Society for the History of Economic Thought was held on November 10 - 11, 1984, at Tohoku University. The common theme was "Schumpeter and Keynes", chosen in commemoration of the centenary of their births. Noboru KOBAYASHI (Daito Bunka University) and Izumi HISHIYAMA (Kyoto University) worked as the joint moderators. Here I concentrate on the three reports given in honour of Schumpeter and Keynes.
The first report was presented by Yuichi SHIONOYA (Hitotsubashi University), under the title of Issues and Methods of Schumpeter. It examined particularly the methodological idea which supports Schumpeter's system of social science. He examined Schumpeter's comprehensive system, by dividing it into the following four parts: 1) dualism of scientific images and scientific history; 2) the viewpoint of `omnipresent social science'; 3) analytical methods; and 4) a hypothesis - the tension between economy and civilization. In paying due regard to M.E.L.Walras and K. Marx who are deemed to have influenced Schumpeter, SHIONOYA tried to clarify methodological characteristics, particularly observed in Schumpeter's social science.
SHIONOYA emphasized that the static economic theory is not denied in the `omnipresent social science' intended by Schumpeter, the static economic theory is not denied. They coexist with each other. Economy has its own order (Walrasian general equilibrium), but the view of development (Entwicklung) cannot help but to introduce the correlation in various domains of the wide-ranging life in society. And there comes a way to grasp matters from the point of `the concern and tension between economy and civilization'. Schumpeter evaluated Marx as typifying the `concern'.
The second report was given by Kiichiro YAGI (Okayama University) under the title of "A Research on the `Capitalistic Process' in Schumpeter". After examining the formation process of Schumpeter's vision of economic development, YAGI tried to provide a framework for discussing its social implications. In the formation of his development theory, it is impossible to ignore his researches of the theory of trade cycle and the theory of interest. YAGI states that Schumpeter's concern on these two categories 'has been integrated as he tried to grasp the relation between the entrepreneurs (profit acquirer) and capitalists (interest acquirer) in a certain refined and dynamic process of prosperity'. He concluded that Schumpeter's vision of development, which regards the entrepreneur's innovation as the driving force, is after all the "vision of the capitalistic process, which has been purified as a process, itself after the abstraction of the passession and accumulation of capital".
The last report was presented by Satoshi SECHIYAMA (Kyoto University), under the title of "Significance of User Cost -`Time' as defined by Keynes". His report aimed at examining the issue of user cost that has so far been ignored, and based on that, reconstructing the theory of short-run supply price, from the viewpoint of `time' and `uncertainty', on which Keynes laid emphasis. SECHIYAMA stated that "a fundamental difference from the conventional explanation which equals the short-run supply price to the marginal factor costs, is that Keynes' analysis specifically takes into consideration an inevitable fact that the productive capacity exists continuously for a long, uncertain period in the future, and then it tries to explain the optimum output for the present term as well as the supply price which makes it possible". The short-run supply price, required by entrepreneurs at the time of planning a new investment, is regarded as the same to the administered price, calculated to recover target profit in addition to the invested capital. In the end, utilizing a simple two-term model, he said that such reorganized analysis of short-run supply price by Keynes could give explanation even to inflation and stagflation.
In the ensuing discussion comments were made by Tadao OHNO (Osaka Gakuin University), Tadashi HAYASAKA (The University of Tokyo) and Takashi NEGISHI (The University of Tokyo). The three reporters responded to their comments, and questions and answers followed from other members. OHNO's viewpoint had no fundamental difference from SHIONOYA's, and in supplementing the theory, he mainly referred to the importance of sociological factors which stay in the historical outline of the development of capitalism.
HAYASAKA commenting on the three reports, noted that, on YAGI's report, he said that 1) the entrepreneur in Schumpeter's theory means exactly the `capitalistic' entrepreneur, in the special historical sense; therefore he cannot comply with YAGI's opinion that "the entrepreneur's function itself is not `capitalistic' on its own". And 2) that, since the accumulation as well as the capitalist exist behind the credit creation, it is not right to say that Schumpeter took up the issue of the capitalism without the capitalist. Also 3) that there exists the separation of capital ownership and management in the background of his capitalistic `process'. With these points in mind, HAYASAKA suggested the possibility that Schumpeter might have had Germany, not Austria, in mind, similarly as in the case of R. Hilferding. Then on SHIONOYA's report, HAYASAKA commented that the report seemed too self-conclusive, and even if Schumpeter's dynamic theory might have been a failure, it does not mean that he did not attach importance to the dynamic theory. Lastly on SECHIYAMA's report, he raised a question, if Keynes' claim that the price is a administered price would not be contradictory to Keynes' other claims in the General Theory.
NEGISHI gave his comment mainly on SECHIYAMA's report, and briefly on other reports. First on SECHIYAMA's report, he said that 1) SECHIYAMA's price theory does not refer to the enterprises which directly face demand constrained on the product market; therefore it would not be able to fully explain the existence of involuntary idle capacity; 2) whether the interpretation of inflation, caused by the rise of user cost, would be any different from the one by the monetarist; 3) how the downward rigidity of administered prices could be explained with the Keynes-SECHIYAMA theory. Then, concerning SHIONOYA and YAGI's reports, he questioned if Schumpeter had any concept of steady growth, and if so, whether there exists interest, even with the scarcity of capital.
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